I went to meet some friends at the one cafe in town, Rituals - about a ten minute walk from my house. It was pissing rain. Like an idiot, I had lost my awesome umbrella up at De Champs, a bar up a very steep hill, and there was no way I was going to retrieve it. Instead, I bought a cheap 4$ US umbrella from the store near my house, and prayed that it would hold. Little did I know that it would look so cool. On the outside, the umbrella is sleek and silver, like something out of the Matrix, but on the inside is autumn leaves! It's also too small. I look hip.
|I imagine that my father will tell me it's bad luck to open an umbrella indoors, just as I should be spelling "theater" like "theatre". I'm crazy like that.|
"Why are you so big, Dennis?" They call me Dennis there, and I don't have the heart to correct them. The chain of events is this: I used to go by myself, then I used to go with Denise. When Denise came they would take her name, but couldn't pronounce it properly, so they called her Dennis. When I started going back alone, they kept calling me Dennis. They don't remember her, though, and always ask her name.
"What do you mean, big? Like I've been working out, or eating too much?"
She laughed. "No, your face, your face is so big now."
I didn't know how to take this. "It might be because I'm about to eat a burger and a cookie and drink a chiller."
She shook her head and smiled. "Oh Dennis."
The other day I was about to go to work, when I saw from our balcony that the sea was choppy. The Caribbean is rarely choppy. It's a very calm sea. So I decided to walk along the ocean to work (admittedly, this is a statement I'll miss saying). I've never seen the water like this. The waves were large and angry, and the sky dark. The water would reach to the top of the sand and into the folliage. I often had to sprint across sections when the waves receded to keep my shorts from getting wet. I really wish the sea was like that most days. A calm ocean is nice, but an angry one is exciting.
Today was the first time this semester that I had to say goodbye to a student for good, because he is leaving the island early for vacation. I guess I have to get use to it. These are kids I've known for over a year, and they're the longest relationships I've forged yet as a teacher. Next week the school will be doing something called a Basket Ceremony, where they sit down teachers and students who are leaving, and everyone takes turns saying something nice about them. At the end, they are given a hand-made local basket. It's a lovely ceremony to watch, and I'm sure it will be lovely to participate in it. I can't wait.